Due to a sequester-related contracting snafu, I get a spring break of an undetermined period! Hopefully, I will be back to work at the National Weather Service in a week or two.
They call it a “gap” as they move people from one contract to another. I’ve got a job with the new company on a new contract. Who that company is, when the work starts and even how much I’m paid – all that is unknown.
Letting the contractors wander off and then hoping to sign them up with a new company is one of those “only in government” moments. It makes sense if you work there. But if you think about it logically, and count up all the costs in managing people this way, it will drive you mad.
I was a Communications Manager for the Weather-Ready Nation initiative, which is about making communities more resilient in the face of extreme weather. In this role, I developed communication plans, managed web site content and coordinated social media efforts. We were making good progress too – see this presentation I gave to the Federal Communicators Network for more about my work.
Of course, I am far from alone in my predicament, as furloughs hit the feds. I was thinking about Steve Ressler's excellent presentation on doing more with less. He's got some great ideas for cutting costs which would be a lot more efficient than this meat cleaver approach. Across the board cuts are a waste of time, talent and money. It's dumb government at its worst.
DC is gorgeous this time of year. In addition to enjoying the delights of the city (food trucks, bike trails, museums), I have my own projects to work on:
- I'm a judge for American University's student screenplay contest
- Blogging on GovLoop and joeflood.com
- My photography of city life
As a friend of mine said, you can work without an office. I’ve got plenty to do.